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How to Become a Foster Parent

By HERWriter
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how-to-foster-a-child Hemera/Thinkstock

After we were married in Hawaii, one of my closest friends asked me the dreaded question about having children. I couldn’t seem to catch a break, for the last 25 years of my life people were asking me about marriage and now the question about having children.

After the devastating earthquake in Haiti, my husband and I looked into adoption, but most adoption agencies will not allow adoption for anyone over the age of 50. And unfortunately, my husband, who is well-preserved, is over 50.

We both seriously discussed becoming foster parents. Our intent is to provide a temporary, healthy, happy home for a child in need.

We don’t care about their size or color. We just want the child to feel safe and special.

With this in mind, we looked into the process of becoming foster parents. Each state has its own foster care program and its own process.

Here is a link to all foster care programs in the United States. Click on your state for their foster care program: http://www.adoptuskids.org/for-families/state-adoption-and-foster-care-information/

Most states offer an open house for potential foster care parents. This might be a great opportunity to see if you can handle the responsibilities of being a foster parent.

For the faint of heart, foster parenting may not be for you because the one thing you must keep in mind is the goal of the foster care program is to always return the child to parent(s).

According to the State of Delaware’s Department Services for Children Youth and their Family (DSCYF) website, ʺThe goal for most foster children is to return to their parent(s) when the circumstances that led to the foster placement have been resolved.ʺ

The approval process is extensive but for those who want to parent and temporarily help a child or children, it is a great opportunity. The foster parent application-to-approval process takes three to six months.

Here are some of the standard steps you will have to take before you can become a foster parent:

1. Fill out an application (references, income, etc.)

2. Background check

3. Medical form

4. Parenting training session

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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